— Days Without Shea —

The Mets announced some mid-season adjustments to Citi Field.

The biggest: they will now show live game action on the big video screens. This is to accommodate all the fans who have obstructed view seats. Apparently there are alot of us.

The funny thing is, even the announcers in the booth have obstructed view seats, as Keith Hernandez has mentioned a few times on-air. Who built this stadium anyway?

Newsday had a good article on the new changes expected for both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. Here is the relevant Mets part:

Dave Howard, the Mets' executive vice president for business, said Citi Field has been "extremely well received," with people commenting even on their reception in the parking lot.

He did acknowledge early-season criticisms: Some seats have obstructed views and that there is less celebration of Mets history than the Brooklyn Dodgers' legacy. As much as there was a "good riddance" feeling about Shea, there was an uproar Sunday when one of its traditions, the apple, failed to pop out of the centerfield hat for the second of two home runs. "We've heard our fans," he said.

So, he said, the Mets received permission from Major League Baseball to show the live feed on video screens the instant the ball is in play, allowing fans to follow action they might not see live. Also, an additional video board will be installed in the rightfield corner after the All-Star break.

Howard added that more Mets memories will be reflected with displays in the park this summer, and that there are bigger long-term plans to give the place a Mets atmosphere.

Whether they will make it a more hitter-friendly atmosphere by bringing in the fences or lowering the walls is a decision for the offseason. Howard did say that if the Mets are healthy, the park can work to their advantage because of their gap hitters, fly ball-oriented pitchers and mobile centerfielder and rightfielder. Backup centerfielder Angel Pagan said, "I need room to gallop, so this is the right place."

Howard said, "I think it gets in other teams' heads, too."

The question is, does it get in Mets' heads, especially David Wright's? There is some feeling that he and other Mets have taken their Citi Field swings on the road, where they have hit even fewer home runs than they have at home (24 to 28).

"You have to adjust your approach, you have to adjust your philosophy to this ballpark because it's not a launching pad,'' Wright said. "It's not a place where you're going to go out and get a lot of cheap home runs."

Gary Sheffield, who had a fondness for Shea ever since his uncle Dwight Gooden pitched there, said: "I love Citi Field. The atmosphere is electric. It's a challenge, but if you hit the ball square, it goes out."

The half-season has not been a solid hit or a full whiff for either park. But this week will be big in both spots. Yankee Stadium will import memories from next door with Oldtimers Day on Sunday. Citi Field will strike a chord with concerts by Paul McCartney, who played Shea with the Beatles in 1965, and with Billy Joel, who helped close down Shea last year.

Having gotten into heads and under skin, the two rookies, clearly here to stay, are trying to make their way into people's hearts.

[July 15, 2009 6:18 PM]  |  link  |  reply
dyhrdmet said

how is a new video screen in the RF corner going to help anyone? RF has one of the biggest obstruction problems I've seen. now we won't be able to see the new scoreboard too.

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